Differently Abled Expo and Spring Fling!
March 31
Florida Atlantic University
500 NW California Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL
10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Presented by– Family Care Council – FAU-CARD
We are pleased to present this opportunity for you to gain firsthand information from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. APD Area 15 Administrator Gerry Driscoll will provide updates on current issues and future plans.  This free event is open to all families. Registration is not required. Come for all of the information and assistance. Then stay for the free lunch, refreshments, door prizes, dancing, and fun!

VSA Florida is hoping everyone will want to participate in this fantastic Call for Art opportunity for students of all abilities.  Deadline is April 8, 2012 . VSA and CVS Caremark invite you to submit artwork showing your child's or student's creativity! Explore new activities, rethink your perceptions, discover yourself as an artist, and submit your art today! 
Promising Pathways: The Road to Best Practice in Autism
Saturday April 14, 2012

Weekly Conference Call during the 2012 Regular Legislative Session by The Family to discuss the outcomes of Session for that week.  Each conference call will feature various speakers, community leaders, legislative experts and local activists that will share a variety of thought provoking ideas and comments regarding the agencies and programs funded by the state. Simply call the number below on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. (EST). Your input, suggestions and resource sharing will ultimately make this community as powerful and productive as it can be. At such a crucial time, we need to concentrate our strength, power and wisdom in order to insure an improved quality of life for all Floridians with disabilities.
Friday, February 10, 2012
4:00 p.m. EST
Dial-in Number:  1-888-808-6959  Conference Code 2244670#


Beach Wheelchairs through SMILEMass. 

Challenger League
"Fort Myers American Little League is starting the Challenger League for boys and girls 4-18 (up to 23 if still in high school). It's a free program for participants, all you have to do is register. Contact Dr. Darrell Troast at 565-6041 or register online at  The league says it is open to any child with any type of physical disability, including those in wheelchairs, as well as any child who might have any other challenge in their young lives to deal with."

Whispering Pines: Cart, carriage and wagon Rides in Bonita Springs, FL.  Seeking non-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide physical and emotional therapeutic events to terminally ill children, children and adults with physical disabilities, children and adults with special needs, and elderly adults living in full or assisted living facilities and Hope Hospice.  239 989-4782



The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists 1 reported that 1 in 10 children (an estimated 1.2 million children across the UK) have a communication disability. This means that thousands of families may have to learn additional ways of communicating with their children, whether through symbol...
Literacy for Children with Combined Hearing and Vision Loss: The “All Children Can Read” website is built on a framework that incorporates stages of literacy development and key components of reading into instructional strategies for children with dual sensory challenges.


The 14th Annual Family Cafe will be held June 15-17, 2012 at the Hilton Orlando, 6001 Destination Parkway in Orlando. Visit to register for The 14th Annual Family Cafe. As part of the registration process, you will also be able to request Financial Assistance to cover the cost of your hotel stay at the Hilton Orlando. Financial Assistance will be distributed through a lottery process prior to the event.

COPAA Annual Conference & Training | Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates |  Copaa: Special Education Rights and Advocacy Conference.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Equipment and Supplies

Caroline's Cart: "Caroline’s Cart is a shopping cart created for special needs children. It provides parents and caregivers a viable option to transport a child through a store while grocery shopping, without simultaneously having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional grocery cart"

Tummy Tunnels:  Until now, there has not been a simple solution for dressing a child with a feeding tube.  ..."

Exceptional Student Education


Cool Tools in Schools by Education Audio Conferences

Council for Exceptional Children, The Voice and Vision of Special Education: The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.


Florida Department of Education: " The Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services administers programs for students with disabilities and for gifted students. Additionally, the bureau coordinates student services throughout the state and participates in multiple inter-agency efforts designed to strengthen the quality and variety of services available to students with special needs."

Florida's Transition Project for Infants, Young Children and Their Families assists local communities in establishing trained teams to develop a seamless system of transition among agencies providing services to young children with disabilities, birth to six years of age, and their families.

IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law enacted in 1990 and reauthorized in 1997 and 2004. It is designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities by ensuring that everyone receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE), regardless of ability.

Wrightslaw - How to handle disagreements at the IEP

Individualized Learning Plan (ILP)/NCWD Youth: An individualized learning plan (ILP) is a tool that students in secondary school use – with support from school counselors and parents – to define...

Special Ed Connection " Instantly locate proven strategies, helpful tools, special education case law, federal statutes/regulations and more — with the online solution thousands of your colleagues already rely on"


The Special Ed Advocate: Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.


Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. We have placed over 600,000 wheelchairs in 83 countries!

Durable Medical Equipment

Convaid: Provide special needs children, adults, and their families the highest quality compact-folding lightweight wheelchairs.


PACER Center's mission is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and provide family programs.

The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities home page.

Home... work

Cerebral Palsy affects your child's brain. This may cause difficulty with muscle tone and control. Your child may have delays speaking or have speech that is hard to understand. Reading with your child and having your child name objects in the book or read aloud to you can strengthen his speech skills...

International Organizations

Beit Izzy Shapiro Israel's most effective nonprofit and innovator of therapies for children and adults with disabilities.


National Center on Response to Intervention: Welcome to the one place to find all you need to know about Response to Intervention. Use the graphic to navigate through and learn about the the Essential Components of RTI.

Learning and Downloadable Sheets

The Handwriting Without Tears website offers plenty of free activities and downloads that can be used at home with students to practice handwriting skills in a very fun way- here is one example:

Sensory Street: For anyone whose lives are touched by Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), formerly referred to as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID).  sensory streettm offers workshops and seminars to help the community understand how it feels to live with Sensory Processing issues, and teach strategies to help these sensory kids regulate and participate.

Legal and Planning

Special Needs Trusts, Why by The National Special Needs Network


Free CCS Classes to Children with Special Needs

Come Children, Sing! continues to provide free CCS classes for children with special needs. Advanced CCS classes are also provided for these children for no charge, providing as much as four years of music instruction. Tell parents of children with special needs and their support organizations to contact us about free online classes.
Contact Us

News, Networks, Communities and Forums

Children With Special Needs This site is run by parents, for parents.

Children with Special Needs Site with Pamela Wilson:

COPAA Annual Conference & Training | Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates |  Copaa: Special Education Rights and Advocacy.
The Family Cafe: "The Family Café exists to provide individuals with disabilities and their families with an opportunity for collaboration, advocacy, friendship and empowerment by serving as a facilitator of communication, a space for dialogue and a source of information."  888-309-CAFE
Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) at the University of South Florida was established in October 2005 through a University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service grant award from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.  Through leadership in research and evaluation, theory, policy, capacity building, and practice the FCIC is committed to developing a range of supports and services in the areas of Community Supports, Early Childhood, Transition, Education, Employment, Health, Interdisciplinary Training, Public Policy, and Cultural Competence.

Florida Father's Network - Home:  Involving fathers in the lives of children with disabilities Providing a forum for fathers to learn, voice their thoughts and network with other fathers
Life Care Foundation on Disabilities: Our goal is improving individual outcomes and quality of life to Persons with Disabilities

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: We serve the nation as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth - ESEA & IDEA (education & special education laws)--research-based information on effective educational practices

Special Moms Entrepreneur Club:  A Community That Empowers Special Needs Moms Personally and Professionally

News and Magazines

HOPELights: We started HOPELights in an effort to create monthly magazine subscriptions for children with special needs and to provide inspirational resources for parents, caretakers, family members and friends who need a little bit of cyber-tlc.

Medicaid Waiver News

Parenting Special Needs Magazine
NEW COLUMN Featuring YOU: We are looking for Moms or Dads that would like to volunteer to share about a day in their life with their special needs child. If interested in sharing please send us a message or email to Please include your name contact information, child's age and disability. We will get back to with details.


The Maple Leaf Mission: The Maple Leaf Mission is a registered Not for Profit Society registered in Canada however, we are a truly international organization, The Maple Leaf Mission has board members from Canada, America, Italy and Australia and its current goal is to enlist a vast army of volunteer photographers capable of meeting the ever-growing demand for its services all over the world.



Partners In Policy Making " Adults who have a developmental disability • Parents/legal guardians of young children with developmental disabilities • Men and women representing different ages, experiences, ethnic groups, and geographical regions of Florida • Highly motivated and enthusiastic people who want to work for system..."

Resource Pages

Exceptional Family TV: non-profit organizations that are specific to your child’s diagnosis.

PediaStaff CP Links:


DMF Vocational Campus "The Dan Marino Foundation's plans for a downtown college for the developmentally disabled could give students the real-world experiences they need to make it on their own.";jsessionid=CAB05216355335076C1670A4FD8558B4

American Academy of Neurology: Study: New Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury Shows Promise in Animals, article February 19, 2012 - "A new drug is showing promise in shielding against the harmful effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI)... "


"Siblings of children with special needs have special needs themselves. Their sister or brother with special needs will get a bigger share of attention. While having a special needs sib presents challenges, it also comes with opportunities. Kids who grow up with a sibling with special health ..."
Sibs | For brothers and sisters of disabled children and adults: Sibs is the only UK charity representing the needs of siblings of disabled people. Siblings have a lifelong need for information, they often experience social and emotional isolation, and have to cope with difficult situations...

Partners In Care (PIC) which is supported by Medicaid funds.  PIC is a pilot program in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties through Hope Hospice for children with "life altering" illnesses and their families. 

Television, Radio, Movies & Documentaries

Exceptional Family TV:

Including Samuel Documentary: "Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, photojournalist Dan Habib rarely thought about the inclusion of people with disabilities. Now he thinks about inclusion every day. Shot and produced over four years, Habib’s award-winning documentary film, Including Samuel, chronicles the Habib family’s efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives. The film honestly portrays his family’s hopes and struggles as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. Including Samuel is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion."

Special Needs Talk Radio: Simultaneous chats during broadcasts create real time interaction and engage parents with others in our welcoming gcommunity of caregivers, experts, hosts and educators.

Therapy & Medical

Exercises for Cerebral Palsy: Exercising is important for all special needs children but here are a couple of important points to consider for children with cerebral palsy when exercising.

Feeding Issues There are several feeding and gastro issues that a child with special needs may have. Some of these issues can be addressed with therapy and sometimes a feeding tube may need to be placed.

Ventriculoperitoneal shunting


Toys, Play and Accessories

AblePlay Play Products for Children with Special Needs.  AblePlay Resources -
Kid Companions Chewelry: SAFE Sensory Chew Necklace Kid Companions Chewelry:  Give parents peace of mind & support their special children who MUST bite, chew or fidget. Kid Companions Chewelry is BPA, lead, latex, pcv, phthalate free.

Trusts, Funds and Foundations

Dan Marino Foundation,;jsessionid=9BDDB0076FA5C588B72CFCA0FDAA7128


Disability is Natural: Encourage new ways of thinking about developmental disabilities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One resource that I would suggest adding would be the Cerebral Palsy Family Network. It's a great site that has a ton of resources sorted out by geographic area, which has been extremely useful to my own family.